Auto insurance is one of those things you can’t live with, but you can’t, or shouldn’t live without. It is a necessary evil. When money is tight, it is one of the first ways people try to reduce expenses and keep more money in their pocket.
For many drivers looking to save money on car insurance, one of the first things they do is get a quote from a new company. While this may seem like a good move, it can leave an uninformed buyer regretting the change to a new insurance carrier.
Often, the initial quote from a new company is based on the ideal driver with no bumps or bruises on their driving record. Let’s face it, only a handful of drivers on the road today fit that category.
Once you agree to the quote, the insurance company will run your motor vehicle report. Speeding tickets, cell phone and seat belt violations, and any accidents are reviewed. Recent blemishes on your driving record or the records of any of the drivers on your policy will cause the price of your new policy to increase.
Before you make any changes to your current policy, it is advisable to talk to your insurance agent to find out how to lower the price you are presently paying.
First, make sure you are getting all of the discounts you are entitled to. Discounts include price cuts for safety devices on your car such as front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes, automatic seat belts and anti-theft systems.
Next, check to make sure the use of your vehicle is correctly rated on your policy. Most insurers charge less if your car is used for pleasure only. This means it is not used to drive to work every day. Companies also charge less if you work close to home and drive 10-miles or less one way to work. This can help cut insurance costs, especially if you are currently unemployed, work from home or found work closer to home.
Other discounts offered by various insurance carriers include multi-car discounts and loyalty discounts for maintaining your policy with your current company for several years. Moving all of your insurance policies, such as home and auto to the same insurance provider also qualifies you for discounts.
Ask if there are any other ways you can save money on your current policy, beside maintaining a clean driving record and keeping your credit rating in good standing. One answer may include attending a driver refresher course like the safety classes sponsored by AARP or increasing your deductible.
Be cautious if your agent suggests increasing your deductible. This is your out-of-pocket cost if you have an accident. Most companies recommend a deductible of $500. Upping it to $1,000 will provide a significant savings on your premium, but you need to make sure you have $1,000 set aside in case you have an accident.
Some changes to your car insurance policy will save you money and keep you protected in the event of an accident. Some of policy changes may net you only small savings, but they will add up over the life of your vehicle. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned.